CEMETERY, ENTERPRISE, MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE
Howard Cemetery is on the old Howard Family Farm (1828 to about
1890)more recently (1890-1930s) known as the Allie Kittrell Home &
Farm, now owned by Mrs. Arthur Harris on the road between Mt. Pleasant and
Enterprise. This is across road from the point where Arrow Lake Road enters.
With permission take the
lane past the padlocked gate for 300 yards down the old home lane. After crossing
(a 2 foot deep fording) Sugar Creek in front of the old house go on about 200 yards crossing the spring
branch also. Next turn left 90 degrees (south) and go about 100 yards up the steep rocky
hill into the grove of Cedars that are dying off and being naturally replaced by
hardwood trees. The cemetery is in this thicket. Many of the cedars are fallen
and some have knocked over the memorials and clutter the ground inside the
cemetery. There are not many of the memorials standing due to the following
reasons; destruction from
fallen trees; invasive tree roots; cattle that at one time roamed at will; and; sinking of the memorials into a leaning position and falling.
The stones lying on
the ground are either slowly sinking into the ground and/or sliding down the
steep hill toward the spring branch below.
I must confess I am a person used to the modern amenities of our time and when I
crossed the quite deep (Sugar) creek which crosses this place it was as if the
clock were turned back at least a hundred years. To my left was a gorgeous
old antebellum home in a serious state of decay. It had the typical four columns
of the old south style and was at least 10,000 square feet based on a quick
visual estimate. It is my belief that the original founder of this home was
Willoughby Howard who settled here in Maury County in 1828. However it is quite
logical that the home he first built was of log construction.
In the 1878 D. G.
Beers census map of Maury County the property owner was listed as B. Howard. Likely this was the son of James Howard or the grandson of
Willoughby who was known as Bithel Howard. We know
Willoughby & wife were deceased about the time of the breaking out of the
Civil War or 1862. Also known is that James Howard lived until 1906. Following
this logic further the son James Howard would likely have inherited the place
from Willoughby (research I have not proven.)
The house had been expanded over time just as many of the old homes were but
there is evidence that it was once a log structure. Closer inspection reveals
logs behind some of the fallen white clap boards. Behind the house there were
also old hand hewn logs fashioned into a smoke house for curing meat. Another
log structure lies in decay to our right as we pass by probably indicative of
logs from an original home on the place. These were hand hewn logs and I don't
know anyone after the invention of saw milling in the 1840s who would tackle the
vicious task of felling a tree and taking an axe and hacking & shaving away
at a log to get it down to a square shape. I would estimate that to be about
10,000 more burned calories per log than any modern day person would tackle and
such efforts as this was the very reason why there were no obese people then.
As I went by the house on the way to the cemetery located back on the hill behind the
house I passed a spring branch bubbling out of the side of the hill which undoubtedly
furnished the Howard family and later peoples that resided here an ample supply
of fresh water. To my right was an old cattle milking barn just about completely
fallen onto the ground. Just to the west of the decaying barn stands a grain
silo. I am told Chick Harris one of the deceased owners of the farm turned the
place into a dairy milking operation. He was deceased by the 1940s.
I judge that due to the depth of the creek and otherwise lack of access the
house shown as a graphically altered image here in the background has largely escaped the usual vandalism that occurs to vacated property.
Most of the deterioration has occurred as the result of the early stages of the
breaking up of the roof which allows water to penetrate the structure setting up
decay which in my opinion can be reversed for some ambitious but enterprising
person who can win the heart of the current owner in a purchase for repair bid
if such possibilities can be entertained.